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Thread: living in captivity

  1. #1
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    living in captivity

    this is not a trick question....

    i buy a brand new house in an estate in 2005...in 2009 i have some alterations done and building inspector requests a COC...unfortunately the builders electrician is not registered...so i find an independent person to sign over the COC...while carrying out the tests it is found that the loop impedance test is more than 199 ohms...after further investigation it is found that there is no earth from the meter box on the road to the house...the original electricain (2005) who did the installation says he cannot be held responsible for the cable because he did the installation in 2005 and cannot be held responsible after all this time....so we start digging up the ourselves to see if we can see where the cable is damaged.

    the plot just thickens...the cable runs into the neighbours property and to make it even more difficult it goes under his tarred driveway...and the cable ducts across the road to the meter cubicle are also under his driveway.

    the building inspector has threatened with a fine for non compliance and eviction declaring the property unsafe... if the COC is not issued by the end of the month.

    so now what do we do get hold of the developer?
    do we dig up the driveway and pay for everything?
    Who is responsible?


    i would like to know what you think.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Bloody messy! I'm trying to break this down into bits...

    Without being able to prove the fault existed in 2005, the issue is the routing of the cable.

    The cable ducts across the road ending under a driveway entrance is bad planning, but is it actionable?

    Would the body corporate be responsible for repairing damage to driveways as the duct could be considered a servitude?

    I would have thought the developer's electrician would be responsible for the original routing of the cable through someone else's piece of private property, or the developer itself, unless there is something that allows for this under sectional title?

    I suspect this is going to take a deep understanding of sectional title rules to resolve.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    New thought:

    Apparently there could be a case made that the cable up to the main switch of the installation could be deemed common property. ie. Body corporate pays!
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    i now have another situation in an "estate" again which i will be attending to this week...only problem is i have to go to cape town for this one.

    the house was built on an estate last year...the customer noticed they were getting shocked whenever they touched certain appliances...cut a long story short the they called in the electrical inspection authourity...a faults list was made up and the contractor was called back to repair as per the list...faults included no earth continuity...open covers...no juction boxes...etc...etc...etc...etc.

    the electrical inspection authourity was called in near the end of the year to make sure everything is up to standard...so the customer assumes everything is in order...not

    light fittings start burning...circuit breakers tripping...shocking appliances etc...etc...etc...etc...etc...etc.

    so the customer gets in 3 independant electrical contracotrs in to quote to repair the wiring in their brand new house completed middle of last year.

    this is the interesting part is how 3 companies can come up with 3 different fault lists.... quotes starting at R3000.00 then R18000.00 and the last one over R30000.00.

    and by the way this is after the electrical inspection authourity has declared the property "reasonably"(being the key word) safe...case closed.

    So lets see being a totally independent person what i come up with...i only have one concern and that is the safety of my customer and his family.

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    I only know network installations. However I did worked as an apprentice electrician once. Needless to say I know how hopeless some of the electric wiring jobs really are. The bastard I was working for did not care about regulations only money... “I also never got my training or qualifications as promised” So I say this: after every wiring job get it inspected and always do the right thing and get a second contractor in to see if they can spot something wrong. It will cost you extra but it will not cost you as much as losing your house or property because someone did not do his or her job.

    Blind trust and contractors is not a good mix so never trust anyone and always get the inspectors before the house is completed. If they find something wrong you can keep the contractor responsible for faulty unprofessional work. Also always ask for references and do the right thing and follow up on the references. The time and money you spend doing this is nothing when you compare it to someone’s life, health and safety.

    Prevention is better than cure; however I also must say that you will probably need professional legal help. As for your problems I can only say that you are not alone. I know for a fact that a new house collapsed here in my aria because the contractors cut corners on building mixtures and material. He is facing prison time if found guilty.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    and by the way this is after the electrical inspection authourity has declared the property "reasonably"(being the key word) safe...case closed.
    for all sorts of reasons...
    Quote Originally Posted by insulin View Post
    Blind trust and contractors is not a good mix so never trust anyone and always get the inspectors before the house is completed.
    The trouble is unless you're an expert yourself, you've got to trust someone. And just who to trust might not be as obvious as one would hope.

    Sounds like you've got a real fun one here, Murdock.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    i could spend days posting problems and pictures of electrical installations...unfortunatly i dont have the time...so i wont bore you with details.

    i am busy with a COC in umhlanga...the owner was telling me about the house he purchased in JHB with a COC... it has cost him out his own pocket R25000.00 to date trying to get the house reasonable safe for him and his family.

    He said he was rather taken back while watching me carry out the inspection report and couldnt believe there were so many problems with the 2 bedroom flat and how long it took me (2 and a half hours) to do the inspection report...at face value the flat looked fine...the faults included cabtyre run between plug sockets connected into the back of the socket...40 amp circuit breakers with 2.5 mm wire connected...no earth wires on the light switches which are metal with metal screws...down to earth readings on light circuits...big holes on the DB cover so you can put your hand into the DB...stove isolator combo plug socket not on earth leakage...just to mention a few.

    an issue that i am finding a lot lately with plug sockets is bad contacts on the earth pin of the socket outlet...i have tried changing the plug top to see if my plug top was the problem but it seems not...i think what is happening is the plug top earth pin is not standard so if you use one with a bigger diameter pin it opens the socket...then when you fit one with a smaller diameter earth pin your earth continuity is at risk.

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    this is a picture of a typical electrical installation...if you have had a house built in the last 5-10 years this is what you can expect to see in your roof...low cost house has a whole new meaning...you just pay millions for it now.
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    the way i see it is if i spend 2.5 million rand on a house i expect to get quality...meaning a quality built house...quality plumbing and electrical job...in fact everything should be of a good standard.

    if you buy a mercedes you get a good quality motor vehicle...it probably wont have cheap crap tyres...why expect anything less for the all the services in your house...considering your house will be one of the biggest investment you will ever make.

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